A Response to Critiques of Cushman's and My Work on Philosophers' Susceptibility to Order Effects

The order in which moral dilemmas are presented matters to people's judgments and can substantially influence later judgments about abstract moral principles. This is true even among professional
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The order in which moral dilemmas are presented matters to people's judgments and can substantially influence later judgments about abstract moral principles. This is true even among professional ethicists with PhD's in philosophy. In 2012 and 2015, Fiery Cushman and I published empirical evidence supporting these claims. We invite a metaphilosophical conclusion: If even professional philosophers' expert judgments are easily swayed by order of presentation, then such judgments might not be stable enough to serve as secure grounds for philosophical theorizing. Synthese has recently published two critiques of the literature on order effects in philosophy, which address Fiery's and my work (HT Wesley Buckwalter). Both critiques make valuable points. However both also admit of some clear replies. To fix ideas, consider two versions of the famous Trolley Problem: Push: A runaway boxcar is headed toward five people it will kill if nothing is done. Jane can stop the boxcar by. . .

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News source: Experimental Philosophy

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